Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Enjoying the Fruits of our Labors

Gardening is in full swing. Chores are being done with regularity and, in this warm drought year, the plants are doing spectacularly well.

We've been working our behinds off and, now, we're going to take a little break to enjoy the results. Check out the cherry tomatoes sneaking in to the hanging dendrobium, above.

Speaking of orchids, the cymbidiums on our orchid bench are almost overwhelming in their color.  My mother in law gets mad because I'm behind on my cymbidium care chores but they still bloom anyway.

The Moonstone and it's unknown neighbor rose let me know they're doing well in the drought. They survived our earthquake too, but that's a story for another day.

Double Delight still delights...

...and Mr. Lincoln is producing it's usual platter-sized, deep red blooms as it always does at the beginning of the blooming season.

Here's a very delicately colored pink bougainvillea to finish off this week's look at the beauty side of our garden.

Copyright 2014 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Lining Up the Lemon

Our Meyer lemon tree started off as a sapling only twelve inches tall. How it's grown over the years.

I've pretty much left it alone, just trying to let it establish itself in our tiny, three-tree citrus grove.

I think it's had plenty of time now. I'm going to trim it up to get it to start growing in the shape I want it to.

The loppers make pretty easy work of it, just chop a few of the bottom branches.

I'm not going to touch anything on top in the big producing area. I want fruit this winter so, for now, this is the shape I'm going to be happy with.

Copyright 2014 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

This Year's Feeding Schedule

My new lawn is looking a bit spotty in parts. Although it's still pumping up a lot of grass (with a lot of mowing), I think maybe the two weed 'n feed treatments might have given it a bit of indigestion.

I think it might be hungry but for food not laced with poison.

It's off to my friendly garden center to pick up some nitrogen-rich fertilizer.

The nurseryman there says I've got great timing. A rare rain shower is forecast tonight and putting fertilizer on your grass just ahead of the storm is the peak time to do it.

I load about three pounds into my feeder and shoot it out across the lawn.  Let's see if the grass likes it.

My lawn feeding schedule will be once a month for this season.

The other plants will be getting this liquid fertilizer.

Just dilute into a water pan and sprinkle on everything. This will happen every two weeks.

Hope the plants are happy with the food.

Copyright 2014 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Chore Left Undone

Until today, that is. A couple of years ago, my wife bought a jasmine plant with the intention of putting it in the pot where we had a morning glory growing.

Even the best intentions go awry, sometimes. The plant languished in our herb garden with the promise of "someday." I guess she had enough, so she finally got around to doing it this past weekend.

Fairly straightforward, clean out the pot, stick in the plant, and water in.

Here she positions the plant and cleans off the dead roots. She's much more careful than I am about these things.

In the end, here's a tidy jasmine in the pot. But wait, what's that at the bottom of the pot?

Turns out there's a lavender volunteer from a nearby plant growing out of the bottom of the pot. Handy little find. I transplant it into our citrus grove so when it grows up, it can attract bees to pollinate our fruit.

Copyright 2014 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Everything's Coming Up Roses

The first bloomers are here.  Just a quick post to highlight those roses pushing the boundaries.


While there are still some in the front yard that have yet to bloom, almost all the roses along our hot, sunny back wall are in bloom. 

That's 'Angel Face' at the top of the page...the very first to bloom this year.  This one, just above these words, is an unknown variety we got cheap because it had no name tag.

'Moonstone' is beautiful but flawed. The flowers get very heavy and break the stems. It's also a magnet for earwigs.

'Double Delight' lives up to its name...

...and 'Mr. Lincoln' is the elder statesman in our garden.


Copyright 2014 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Beyond the Bell Pepper

Picture courtesy of Leslie Seaton
under CC BY-SA 2.0 license

While I will get around to planting bell peppers this season, first I wanted to plant some pasilla chile.

The pasilla chile is a large pepper, usually used in dishes like chile relleno.  It's a very mild pepper and, where bell pepper seems to generate a lot of stomach acid even though it has no heat at all for me, the pasilla leaves me without any indigestion afterward.

I was about to go to our local Latin supermarket to buy one and get the seeds out of it but my wife said she already had one so I scooped some seeds out of that.

I keep a few egg cartons on hand because our local egg ranch sells beautiful, loose jumbo brown eggs. Or they did, Friday was their last day in business so suddenly, I don't have such a pressing need to keep the egg cartons around anymore. I'm using one as a seed tray.

Fill it up with potting soil...

...put a couple of seeds in each compartment...

and water in.

I really hope these do well because I'd like to use them in place of bell peppers in many of my recipes.

Copyright 2014 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Season is Springing Out All Over

The blooms...they just keep on comin'.  Cymbidium hybrid Lloyd Hawkinson 'Madrigal' put out two spikes with these white and pink flowers.

That's not all, you can browse our posts for the last couple of weeks to see more cymbidiums in bloom.

This little dendrobium is blooming...

...as are our bletilla orchids. 

I always recommend the bletilla to people who say they can't grow orchids because these literally take no care at all from me.

Not to be outdone, our hanging basket dendrobium has opened too. This climate is perfect for dendrobiums.

This little Angel Face rose will be the first bloom for us this year.

And finally, after getting a big haircut last season, this Superbells Calibrachoa hybrid in a hanging basket is back.

Copyright 2014 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved